Does Whatever A Spiderwoman Does

If we are Facebook friends, you know that I am not very awake right now and am in the process of turning into a spider. (The first of these matters might be influencing my understanding of the second.) Specifically, a translucent brown-striped spider that follows people at a disturbingly quick pace that implies jumping around behind one's back may be involved.

But that is Facebook talk, and I'm here to make excuses. Or not.

I could go on for six guilty paragraphs about how I deliberately didn't bother with the last two days of the January photo challenge because 1) at first I was stumped and 2) then I had better things to do (which I'm about to prove) and 3) actually, I'm a little pleased to have a reason to have to do it over/again although 4) I'm satisfied with the B+ I gave myself for January and won't sweat it if I never look at one of those challenge lists on Pinterest again and also 5) I'm upgrading my effort to an A- because January has 31 days and really you should only be expected to have to complete 28 days of any monthly challenge. You New Year's Resolution diet/exercise peeps are thanking me for this wisdom already, right?

It's not like I wasn't taking photos, though.

On Sunday, the last day of the challenge, the last day of summer vacation before the new school year, we wandered off down south for the afternoon.

(Abbreviated captioning - for once! - because I'm still bleary plus need to keep resting my back a bit - although not as much as yesterday, I swear, Mike - after too much sitting earlier in the week, plus I want to be using most of my sitting time to help with enhancing lesson plans and all the things teachers never have enough time for and thus make my husband look like a legend because he has a wife who makes spreadsheet matrices of student data and who redoes all of the "not great, but good enough" handouts that teachers always plan to redo but in the end more pressing priorities always come up.)

Mike and Eagle Bay Olives Cow

First stop, one of the olive oil shops we hadn't visited yet (Eagle Bay). Not pictured: the weird couple who killed the whole tasting table vibe by standing awkwardly at one end and refusing to try anything until everyone else was completely finished. Also not pictured: delicious "fireball" kalamata olives and Benedict, our new (bottle brush) mouse. (Not named after Cumberbatch, but also not minding if people think he was.)

Blue blue blue

Meelup Beach, or "The Things You Find When Taking a Side Road."

Sweet Ginger Vinegar

We went to another olive oil place (Petra), but everything on their tasting tables was congealed and the dipping bread was so stale we had to lick the samples off popsicle sticks. Pro note: olive oil is not at its best when tasted this way.

Still, even with the consistency of honey, the sweet ginger vinegar was pretty dreamy. Mike uncharacteristically resisted, though, saying he wasn't sure he wanted to give such a resting-on-their-laurels place any of our money. Unlike every other condiment-selling outfit in the region, these guys seemed too content with their cafe traffic to bother with the tasting table. How long do things have to sit out to get so gooey or rock hard? Ew.

But then Mike saw one of their admittedly beautiful pizzas come out of the oven and decided we would be all about second chances on a future visit and could buy the vinegar after all. (Which I'm happy to report is just as dreamy at its proper consistency, especially over salad.)

But if you are short on time, give Petra a miss because, honestly, who lets their tasting table get gross and useless in the early afternoon? Not any other place we've ever been to in Margaret River (not even at the end of the day). But if you do have time, the people were nice enough (if completely uninterested in talking about anything but the cafe) and that pizza did look pretty amazing.

A Visit to Cape Lavender

Next stop: the phrase that got me out of the door and into the car. "Cape Lavender."

Word to the wise: despite all signs and maps and most online directions, Cape Lavender is NOT just off Metricup Road by the chocolate company et al any longer. As we discovered on our last visit a few weeks ago, you will drive down an unsealed road only to see a scorchy-looking blank spot where the business used to be.

Cape Lavender is now exactly on the corner of Caves Rd and Canal Rocks in/near Yallingup. Like, say you are driving down Caves to Gabriel Chocolate. Don't go that far, and there you are. (Hey, this is better info than what you'll get from Siri.)

When we first walked in, we thought it was just maybe some lobby gift shop for Sienna Restaurant.

Then we wandered around and found the tasting tables of lavender honeys and jams.

A Visit to Cape Lavender

You can kind of see them in the background. (The very pleasant woman working the counter said nothing of them when we said we'd just have a look around before deciding if we wanted a menu.)

Then we found the adjacent room full of lavender body products (already shown) and lavender plush:

A Visit to Cape Lavender

"Do they have scones?" Mike asked. "Yes." Sold.

What followed was so delicious that I'm not even going to comment at any great length about how the lavender lotions could only be sampled by sticking your finger into a communal testing pot.

A Visit to Cape Lavender

Solo for Mike, iced tea of the day for me (vanilla bean and mint), and two plain scones with lavender jam and cream (served with lavender).

A Visit to Cape Lavender

Next time, two scones each. One was enough, but sometimes enough is not enough, especially when days past and you don't have any.

I don't know how I'm ever going to get to try their lavender ice cream when I'm always going to want those scones. Such troubles!

(We still have no idea what Sienna Restaurant is. Maybe it's what Cape Lavender turns into at night? There was only a purple CL menu offering tea stuff when we were there.)

For funsies, having no agenda now that we finally ticked a few "keep meaning to visits" off the list, we drove down Canal Rocks Rd to see what was at the end of it.







Oh, majestic beauty, you don't say?

There was more than that on the drive back to Caves Road (Smith Beach looks great), and then we had a decision to make: turn left and head home, or turn right and travel for 17 minutes to Margaret River Chocolate Company for a melty handful of free pastilles?

My Fave

Well, duh.

Giant FTW

I finally got my giant freckle!

Tooooo Soooooon

Too Soon

I captioned these "Too Soon" on Flickr, but what else can you expect in a land where Hot Cross Buns went on sale right after Christmas?

I'm not even kidding. That's what happens when Valentine's Day and Saint Patrick's Day don't have enough of a toehold in your culture. It's just a zip line straight from New Year's to Easter.

(I am seeing some V-Day stuff around town, which I loudly point out to Mike every time, keeping in mind all the years he pleaded that it "wasn't really a thing" in Australia. Now he says it is a thing, but only because Australia has succumbed to the influences of American media. This would explain why all I'm seeing so far are restaurants advertising Valentine menus, and not entire pink and red shopping aisles of plush and chocolates. Not even the chocolate factory had anything special for sale. Oh, Australia. You're trying. At least you're trying. When the day finally comes that you're not all sick of Cadbury eggs by mid-February, you'll thank me for my American holiday corruptions.)

Kangaroo Paw

Even the native kangaroo plant looks a bit Valentine-y, no? I mean in that it's red and fiery, not in that it looks clingy and scary.

My Kind of Tea

In addition to my giant freckle, I got this tea, because chocolate tea is my thing now. At first I found it mediocre compared to T2's creamy chocolate chai, a real disappointment since as you can see this stuff is described as having actual sugar-dusted cocoa nibs coated in other chocolate nibs, which is almost perverted in the best of senses, but then I went native and poured a bit of milk and sugar in the bottom of the cup first, and it was mmmm is, as I type this mmmm so good. Pity about the sleep-screwing and mind-scrambling effects a pot of caffeine has on me, but it's worth it (at the time).

And now it's Friday morning and Mike hinted as he walked out the door two hours ago that it would be nice to have some lesson plans on dominant/resistant text reading for his year 11s. As I've somehow managed to stay awake (despite turning into a spider), catch up on Facebook, make tea, write this, water all of the plants, wander around and do back stretches, and wave hello to Boots-the-stray in that time, I suppose I ought to ride this wave of productivity and soldier on... after a wee lie-down. (Maybe four and a half hours of sleep isn't enough, even with tea.)

07 February 2014 |